London’s continued success as a leading centre for world trade and commerce is critically dependent on free-flowing, frequent and predictable travel to and from the capital. Demand for the rail, road and air transport infrastructure that links London to the rest of the UK and the wider world continues to rise, as it has for decades. Much of it is at or near capacity and in many cases is ageing, heavily congested and lacks resilience when put under pressure.
London First established an independent Commission in early 2011 to examine London’s transport links – rail, high speed rail, road and air – with the rest of the UK and wider world.
It began with a public Call for Evidence – from businesses, user groups, experts, providers, Government and other key parties – which resulted in written evidence from 40 parties. It followed this by holding a set of witness hearings with 20 providers, experts and stakeholders. It also sought the views of a reference group comprised of practitioners and experts. Detailed discussions with over 70 London First members and stakeholders were held throughout the process.
The Commission’s report is the outcome of these deliberations and was published on 1 February 2012. The reports can be viewed below in the library section.
The report makes a series of recommendations, for Government and others, to deliver improvements to London’s road, rail and air links to the UK and the wider world. It does so in recognition of current global economic uncertainties and the constraints on public spending, but with the conviction that further steps must be taken if London is to continue to thrive and grow for the benefit of the whole country. Congested roads, overcrowded trains and aircraft circling above the South East waiting for permission to land at Britain’s only hub airport, Heathrow, are all signs of our critical strategic transport infrastructure operating at its limits.
The Commission calls for, amongst other things:
• A national transport policy that consistently prioritises limited public resources to secure the best returns from investment in road, rail and air infrastructure on a ‘like-for-like’ basis
• A targeted roads policy to cut congestion on London’s strategic links to the rest of the UK – with expansion where merited by demand and congestion charging to ration scarce resource
• Continued vital investment in the rail network to relieve commuter overcrowding and meet growing demand – in lock-step with tangible progress on cost reductions, to relieve the unsustainable high annual fare increases currently in place
• The urgent delivery of new hub airport capacity in London and the South East in the short to medium term – the next fifteen years
Chair – Peter Robinson, Chairman, Berwin Leighton Paisner
Sir Adrian Montague, Chairman, 3i
John Vincent, Director of Strategic Planning and Advisory, AECOM
Chris Elliott, Managing Director, Barclays Infrastructure Funds
Peter Damesick, EMEA Chief Economist, CBRE Limited
Mike Redican, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank
Andy Street, Managing Director, John Lewis
Francis Salway, Group Chief Executive, Land Securities
Ruby Parmar, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Contact Rob Fox for further information
Download and read our publications on Connectivity Commission.
- Reports (5 documents)
- Connectivity Commission reference group(PDF, 69.85K)
- Connectivity Commission - Call for Evidence(PDF, 906.06K)
- 20 providers, experts and stakeholders(PDF, 71.16K)
- London, Britain and the world: Transport links for economic growth(PDF, 2.34MB, Feb 2012)
- London, Britain and the world: Transport links for economic growth – executive summary (PDF, 226.51K, Feb 2012)